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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are some basics for a good car wash, as well as what you will need. I use Adams detailing products, and love them, but other equivalent products will work as well.

Setup:
Prepare 2 buckets, buy putting soap on the pad and mitt in each bucket. Then spray the soap in the bucket in a solid stream to make the most possible suds. Soak the entire vehicle with water (soft water if available) including the wheels and tires. Make sure to spray the engine as well.

After you have your buckets, use the nice pad to wash all the paint, glass, and plastics on the vehicle. I like to lightly mist the car with water throughout while I wash, but not rinse away all the soap. After the paint and glass is entirely clean, spray all the bubbles and soap off.

Two bucket method:
This is what I use to ensure that the pad is clean throughout the entire wash to keep from scratching the paint. The bucket with clean water is for the paint, glass, and plastics. After I use the clean wash pad, it will be dirty from dust and dirt that it picked while scrubbing the paint. I spray the pad clean with the hose, then wring it out. Now the pad is fresh again, and I soak it in the clean bucket.

Tires and wheels:
I use the dirty bucket to do this, I use a washing mitt that is more aggressive to get the wheel wells, as well as tires, and a soft pad for the wheels to keep dirt from scratching them. If the wheels have stubborn brake dust, ect. use an aggressive wheel cleaner. I use the same technique of rinsing the pads and mitt in between using them. Make sure to get behind the wheels if possible, as well as the center cap and lug nuts.

After the entire vehicle is clean, go ahead and pull it into a garage, or a shaded place to work. Dry the wheels first, then glass and body. I spray detail spray onto the paint, then wipe dry. Roof can be dried last. Make sure that your rags are microfiber or equivalent to keep from scratching the paint. I use several rags that I will describe below:

Microfiber plush:
I use this rag to take off wax, it grabs the wax very well. I also occasionally use it on rims if they are clean.

Basic microfiber:
I use this because they are cheap, and I have a package of 50. They can only be used once, but then after a wash, the lose their ability to soak all the water up... I use these on door jams, engine compartments, ect...

Cotton:
These are the rags that you never want to use on paint because they will scratch the wax off. I use them on wheel wells, tires, undercarriages, and oily engine components.

Dressing the vehicle:
Now that the vehicle is clean and dry, apply a tire shine PASTE. Any spray on liquids that are applied will sling off when you drive, and it will get on your paint. I use Adams VRT dresser and love it because it doesn't attract dust. Most pastes will cost more than the cheap autozone tire shine spray, but it is well worth it. I apply these with a foam cube, and have a cube for tires, and a cube for plastics. Apply the gel to the plastics, and make sure to wipe of any that gets on the paint. For hard to reach spots, I have Adams In and Out spray, which comes in an aerosol can that has no overspray, and is basically a spray on gel. It works great on door handles and mirror pivots, as wells as engine compartments. Definitely my favorite product.

Hope this helps to those who are new to washing cars...

Tips:

Never mix your tire and car paint mitts, even after you wash them. This is because the wheel cleaner will strip the wax off of the paint.

If you are going to wax the vehicle, mix some simple green with the soap to stop the old wax off, to avoid over waxing. (Yes it is possible)

Don't use dish soap, or any aggressive household cleaner. Make sure the soap is specifically for car washes, and not something like simple green. Otherwise your wax coat will be stripped off.


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Some common misconceptions here.

1) More suds DOES NOT mean better wash performance. Car soap is mainly used as a lubricant for washing the vehicle, and in some cases, suds can take away from that lubricity.

2) Dawn is perfectly fine for using, when mixed with car soap, when preparing for a full detail. This will strip the wax off. I would never use a degreaser concentrate (Simple Green, Purple Power, etc) on the paint.

3) Personally, I would never wax a vehicle before claying it. Without claying the vehicle, you are essentially waxing the contaminants on the paint, rather than the paint surface itself.

4) One thing you left out: Wax choices. There are several different wax choices to choose from. Cleaner waxes, finishing waxes, synthetic, carnauba, etc. When doing a standard wash and wax, I recommend using a "one-step" cleaner wax. If you're doing a FULL detail, you would probably already know that a finishing (carnauba or synthetic) wax would be appropriate.

Otherwise, very good writeup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...it says in the top line. "Here are some basic tips on a car wash"...

You wash your car with wax? Hmm that's weird. At no point I said apply a wax. And yes, I do clay a vehicle before a wax. As well as polish it with 3 polishes.


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...it says in the top line. "Here are some basic tips on a car wash"...

You wash your car with wax? Hmm that's weird. At no point I said apply a wax. And yes, I do clay a vehicle before a wax. As well as polish it with 3 polishes.


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You mentioned wax several times. That's why I added that.

Do you hand clay?

Also, 3 polishes seems like completely overkill; pretty much pointless. Why three polishes?

Do you do this by hand or machine? If by machine, which machine and pad combination do you use? And with which 3 polishes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You mentioned wax several times. That's why I added that.

Do you hand clay?

Also, 3 polishes seems like completely overkill; pretty much pointless. Why three polishes?

Do you do this by hand or machine? If by machine, which machine and pad combination do you use? And with which 3 polishes?
Yes hand clay
At 6 opm Servers swirl and haze remover (green pad medium)
Swirl and haze remover 5 opm(orange pad firm)
Fine machine polish 4opm (white pad, soft)

Wax:
Buttery wax or super machine wax 3opm (black pad super soft)

Brilliant glaze over EVERYTHING 3 opm (red pad soft) (windows, chrome, paint, plastic, ect)

I use a porter cable


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Yes hand clay
At 6 opm Servers swirl and haze remover (green pad medium)
Swirl and haze remover 5 opm(orange pad firm)
Fine machine polish 4opm (white pad, soft)

Wax:
Buttery wax or super machine wax 3opm (black pad super soft)

Brilliant glaze over EVERYTHING 3 opm (red pad soft) (windows, chrome, paint, plastic, ect)

I use a porter cable


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Are these listed in order of use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why the orange pad after the green pad?

And why the severe swirl remover with the green pad instead of orange? And why glaze after wax?
The orange pad if firmer. The green pad is softer. The glaze goes over everything and protects the chrome as well as the glass and gives the paint a "wetter" look especially on black


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The orange pad if firmer. The green pad is softer. The glaze goes over everything and protects the chrome as well as the glass and gives the paint a "wetter" look especially on black


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Do you realize that there is a difference in cutting potential between the orange and green pad? It has nothing to do with whether the pad is firm or soft.

Also, glaze is NOT a protectant. So it's pretty much pointless that you're glazing over wax. You are most likely removing the wax when applying the glaze, leaving the paint unprotected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you realize that there is a difference in cutting potential between the orange and green pad? It has nothing to do with whether the pad is firm or soft.

Also, glaze is NOT a protectant. So it's pretty much pointless that you're glazing over wax. You are most likely removing the wax when applying the glaze, leaving the paint unprotected.
I'm done arguing. I simply said that I like Adams products, as do several other people on this site. Adams polishes SPECIFIES to add the glaze after the wax. It doesn't remove the wax. I detail cars for a job, and people always say that try are impressed and amazed at the finished product.



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I'm done arguing. I simply said that I like Adams products, as do several other people on this site. Adams polishes SPECIFIES to add the glaze after the wax. It doesn't remove the wax. I detail cars for a job, and people always say that try are impressed and amazed at the finished product.



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I feel sorry for your "customers," because you have no earthly idea what you are doing. Here is the definition of a glaze:

A glaze is a shine-enhancing product that goes on after polishing but before the wax or sealant. It is made with oils and wetting agents that amplify your paint’s shine and improve the clarity. Glazes are usually used by auto manufacturers and paint and body shops to prefect freshly painted surfaces before the vehicle is handed over to the consumer. Glazes generally do not have protective qualities, but they may have fillers that hide any slight imperfections in the paint. A glaze is often used by a body shop after compounding to restore the shine and eliminate haze.

A glaze is not a polish or wax. It is strictly a shine-enhancing agent that will produce a dramatic wet look on your paint. On the concours series, a glaze is essential to achieve a winning deep gloss. Most glazes have no protective qualities so always follow with a wax or sealant.
 

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I'm 'gonna have to disagree with you on the soap.

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11-bikini-car-wash.jpg
 

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^nice! you know her? lol
 

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I intended it to help people, but Ofcourse a ford guys gotta mess that up...


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No disrespect, you obviously know more about it then I do :rofl: he's picking it apart pretty good but provides no "right" alternative. And he dosent even own a dmax which makes me lean more towards troll


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I intended it to help people, but Ofcourse a ford guys gotta mess that up...


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I could be a Duramax guy, and VW guy, or a Ferrari guy. It doesn't change the fact that you need to do a lot more research before touching anybody else's vehicle.

I also noticed that your polishing routine was nearly copied and pasted from somebody else on this forum.... LOL. Nice try, kid.

No disrespect, you obviously know more about it then I do :rofl: he's picking it apart pretty good but provides no "right" alternative. And he dosent even own a dmax which makes me lean more towards troll


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If you have any questions, feel free to ask. They are plenty of "right" alternatives. But this guy doesn't have a clue. He's got the basics down with the two-bucket method and using microfiber cloths, but that's about it.
 
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